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Library News

By: Virginia Volkman
For: Red Rock News
Date: November 4, 2011

Dedicated Volunteers Make the Library Work

Marvin Hofmann, past President of Sedona Public Library’s Board of Directors, passed away recently and will be missed by each of us who worked with him.  When Marv and his wife, Barbara, moved to Sedona seven years ago to be closer to their daughters and grandchildren, they immediately became involved in the community.  

Marv was active in the Sedona United Methodist Church and the National Alliance on Mental Illness.  He was also a group moderator for a program that helps juvenile offenders reconcile with their victims.  When the library was a victim of vandalism, we saw Marv in action and were impressed with his firm but compassionate hand in mentoring the juvenile offenders.

Marv was tireless in his work as Chairman of the library’s Building and Grounds Committee.  During his tenure the library installed lights in the parking lot, expanded the parking lot, and renovated the rental house on the library’s property.  Marv supervised these projects with the expertise that his electrical engineering degree provided.

His role wasn’t limited to being an advisor and supervisor, though.  He was a hands-on guy.  He drew up the plans to remodel the library’s staff lounge.  He arranged for the purchase of the new cabinets, flooring, and furniture and helped with the installation.  When it came time for the walls to be painted, he was there with Barb, paintbrushes in hand, to get that job done.

As the former owner of a home security company, Marv was our in-house expert in that area.  He made sure the library was well protected and would often be first on the scene when the alarm went off.

When the library expanded to the Village of Oak Creek, Carolyn Fisher organized book sales out there to help support the operation.  Although the fire station provides the space for the sales, tables must be transported from the main library to hold the books.  Marv always made the effort to load up his van and deliver the tables himself. 

What most people will recall when they remember Marv are his ready smile and his big heart.  He always had a kind word and went out of his way to help wherever it was needed.

It’s the dedication of volunteers like Marv, who serve the library in so many ways – as members of the Board of Trustees, the Friends of the Library, and staffing the library’s daily operation – that make this library work.  As a non-profit organization, we depend on volunteers and donations, as well as support from the City of Sedona and Yavapai and Coconino Counties.

A wonderful example of community spirit and involvement is the Friends of the Library’s Festival of Wreaths.  San Dee Kinnen and her committee are putting in long hours to make sure that the event is once again a resounding success. This year the festival will open with a Preview Gala and Sale on Sunday, November 13, from 5 to 8 p.m. 

Last year was the first time I had the experience of attending the Gala.  I had seen the wreaths coming in and saw them being hung.  But I was unprepared for the transformation of the library into the wonderland that it became on the night of the Gala.  From the Si Birch Community Room to the far end of the library where the fireplace glimmered, the whole space was alive with the sound of music and voices in animated conversations.

The warmth in the room wasn’t just from the fireplace.  It was the warmth of giving and helping.  Donations included ornaments decorated by celebrated artists, wreaths, raffle items, wine, appetizers, and a fabulous cake.  Everyone who bought tickets to the Gala or purchased raffle tickets, wreaths and ornaments helped turn the Festival into a success, raising $14,000 for the library. Plan to attend this year’s Gala for a fun and festive evening.

The history of volunteerism at Sedona Public Library is strong.  The people whose lives I’ve been fortunate to share in this way have enriched my life.  Volunteers continue to bring heart and soul and a sense of community to the organization. 

Library News appears each Friday in the Red Rock News and is also presented on: Gateway to Sedona and Sedona Biz.
Virginia Volkman is Director of Sedona Public Library.